Boating Safe – Sea Scouting Weekend Planned For Portsmouth

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 20, 2003

This weekend, over 100 Sea Scouts will converge on the Coast Guard Integrated Support Command (ISC) Portsmouth for the third annual training round up. A combination of the active duty, reserve and auxiliary members of the Coast Guard are providing the training, which brings together Scout Ship crews, from throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, with assistance from members of the Marine Corps.

Sea Scouting is a co-ed program within the Boy Scouts of America that provides young adults, ages 14-20, an opportunity to learn about the sea, ship handling, and &uot;all things nautical.&uot;

Suffolk’s legendary Sea Scout leader Mr. Jim Maccord and members of his unit

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Scout Ship 16 are organizing this year’s event. This year, for the first time, five different courses of study are being offered to the Scouts and their leaders. These courses include the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s basic boating safety, a track for &uot;able seaman,&uot; one for &uot;ordinary seaman,&uot; a Venturing Youth Leadership program (which will be taught onboard the Coast Guard medium endurance cutter Northland), and an adult leader course.

The course of study within each one of the tracks is impressive. From marlinspike seamanship and ornamental rope work, to basic drill (taught by two senior Marine Corps non-commissioned officers), the scouts will be exposed to fire fighting training and damage control – taught onboard Northland, and sea history.

Over the past few years the interest in Sea Scouting has significantly increased within the Suffolk area. In fact, the local scout council, located in Newport News, judged Maccord’s vessel the best in its class.

The origin of Sea Scouting is a unique story in and of itself. Scouting founder, British citizen Lord Baden-Powell, always hoped that older scouts who had learned about camping and outdoor life would also find interests in life on boats.

Following the campfire, there was activity in England that resulted in Lord Baden-Powell’s older brother, Warington, writing a book called Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys. It was enthusiastically received by the young men of Britain and soon found its way to the United States.&uot; Following its initial founding Sea Scouting grew in size and content with assistance being given to the program by both the Coast Guard and Navy. A watershed event however occurred, in 1966, when Scouting &uot;Exploring Division&uot; (created in 1959) put a sea exploring program into effect.

One additional major event recently affected the Sea Scouting program. &uot;

In 1998, the Boy Scouts of America reorganized the Exploring program into the Learning for Life Exploring program and the new Venturing Division. Sea Exploring was placed in the Venturing Division and was renamed Sea Scouts.&uot;

Sea Scouting provides a viable opportunity to enjoy a great opportunity to learn about the sea and ship handling. If you are interested in the program contact, Mr. Maccord at 538-8869.

Until next week….Boat Safe…..Boat Smart.